Need Help Deciding on Budget College Laptop

bang3215

Commendable
Jan 31, 2017
5
0
1,510
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Hi everyone, I'm looking to get a new laptop since my previous MacBook Pro broke on me. It was an amazing laptop that lasted me a long time but I need something more affordable.

My goal was to find something under $500 that had something similar to the following:

• SSD
• Skylake or higher equivalence CPU
(AMD possible)
• Laptop known for top notch reliability
• 6+ gb ram

I need it to write up long documents for research and something that can handle SPSS or similar statistic programs without freezing.

I have heard great things about Asus which has made me be biased towards their laptops. Nonetheless I also had an HP laptop for personal use that treated me well for 4 years and met my needs at the time.

These are the following laptops I am interested in:

• ASUS X555DA-AS11 15 inch AMD Quad Core A10- 8700P, 256GB with Windows 10

•ASUS F556UA-AS54 15.6-inch Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD with Windows 10

Personally I'm leaning towards the AMD due to the price however my absolute main goal is reliability. Thank you for taking the time to read this and any wisdom you can pass on :)
 

wertciu

Commendable
Oct 4, 2016
6
0
1,520
2


You shouldn't be worried about the cpu, unless you are doing serious stuff like video editing you are never going to notice the difference between a 5th gen i5 and a 3rd gen i5. And that particular i5 had very good clock speeds for a laptop cpu, which will compensate greatly for its age. You are not going to get a decent laptop brand new for $500.
As for the ssd, at the price point of that thinkpad you can easily buy a ssd and put it in (250gb ssd is only around $80) which will make this thinkpad come in at around $400.
I looked some more and found this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-ThinkPad-W520-15-6-i7-2-4GHz-16GB-256GB-SSD-320GB-HDD-/192072665379?hash=item2cb86c4923:g:CSAAAOSwTA9X8doc
It has an ssd as well as a regular hdd, and an i7, but not as good graphics.
You shouldn't need to worry about Acer, I've had an acer laptop last for 6 years before failing.
 

wertciu

Commendable
Oct 4, 2016
6
0
1,520
2


There are a lot of different choices there but getting something skylake or higher for less than $500 dollars is likely going to result in a lower quality laptop. I would not get an ASUS laptop as my mother bought one for around $500 and it had all kinds of issues (in the end the screen got dark spots in it and the only way to repair it was to buy a new screen).
What I would do is look on ebay for a used thinkpad or dell latitude. Even if they are ivy bridge or haswell based they will be much better quality than newer skylake laptops at that price point. I bought my Thinkpad 2 years ago and it is still running so well that I believe I am going to keep it all the way through college.
Here's something I would recommend: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-ThinkPad-T530-laptop-Core-i5-2-6Ghz-15-1600X900-8GB-NVIDIA-Backlit-500GB-/122238346475?hash=item1c75f924eb:g:-SUAAOSwiONYNLor#viTabs_0
It has an i5 and dedicated graphics, so not only will it be more than enough for college, you could do some light gaming on it if you wish.
I've bought used thinkpad for friends before and it worked great. And you will be getting much more for your money buying a high-quality laptop used than buying a low-quality one new.
If you still want a new one I would reccomend raising your budget a little more if you want to get one that will make it through 4 years of college: https://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-E5-575G-53VG-15-6-Inch-Windows/dp/B01DT4A2R4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1485875835&sr=8-2&keywords=acer+e-15
I bought this one to replace the failed ASUS, and it is lasting pretty well so far, but its only been 4 months so I cannot guarantee it will last (but Acer is a good brand, I've had other acer laptops last for years, so it should be good to go).

DONT go AMD just yet, as they haven't updated their cpus in six years, and their new ones aren't going to be released until mid-2017 for laptops.
 

bang3215

Commendable
Jan 31, 2017
5
0
1,510
0
The Lenovo looks like a solid laptop but the two things that worry me are the old CPU and it not having SSD.

I'm not a huge fan of that Acer and Acer in general because I heard that they may put better specs in their laptops but they don't last long.

Do you know any other Lenovos you can recommend? I heard their thinkpad and ideapads are solid but it's difficult to find one in my budget with an SSD
 

wertciu

Commendable
Oct 4, 2016
6
0
1,520
2


You shouldn't be worried about the cpu, unless you are doing serious stuff like video editing you are never going to notice the difference between a 5th gen i5 and a 3rd gen i5. And that particular i5 had very good clock speeds for a laptop cpu, which will compensate greatly for its age. You are not going to get a decent laptop brand new for $500.
As for the ssd, at the price point of that thinkpad you can easily buy a ssd and put it in (250gb ssd is only around $80) which will make this thinkpad come in at around $400.
I looked some more and found this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-ThinkPad-W520-15-6-i7-2-4GHz-16GB-256GB-SSD-320GB-HDD-/192072665379?hash=item2cb86c4923:g:CSAAAOSwTA9X8doc
It has an ssd as well as a regular hdd, and an i7, but not as good graphics.
You shouldn't need to worry about Acer, I've had an acer laptop last for 6 years before failing.
 

bang3215

Commendable
Jan 31, 2017
5
0
1,510
0
Sweet so I won't worry about the CPU as much anymore, thanks!

I'm thinking of having the Acer E5-575G-53VG on the back burns if I can't find anything else. The cost is a bit too much so I'm hoping to find something else that might be good but I realize Ill need to take a closer look at it.

What do you guys think of this laptop? https://m.newegg.com/product/index?itemnumber=9SIA24G57Z4653

I couldn't find a lot of reviews so I'm not sure
 

wertciu

Commendable
Oct 4, 2016
6
0
1,520
2


It will work, but I cannot guarantee it will last, as it looks fairly generic. Either of the thinkpads I linked to have much better specs too.


 

wertciu

Commendable
Oct 4, 2016
6
0
1,520
2


It's okay, the ideapad line isn't as good as the thinkpad line is, and the specs are so-so, but if you aren't doing any gaming or intensive tasks it should work pretty good. Can't testify to the longevity of the ideapad line like i can to the thinkpads though.

 

wertciu

Commendable
Oct 4, 2016
6
0
1,520
2
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